73 New Haven: Dream

That night, I dreamt I was in a coffee shop, going over my notes from the trip so far. It was an incredibly bright day, and I moved from the too-bright front window to the shaded section in back. As I read my notes, two people came up and sat at the table I had been sitting at. I could not see their faces clearly. It was that thing that happens in my dreams a lot, where it feels like there is something in my eye, and I can’t get it out, yet there is something I need to see. I wanted to be able to write a description of these people before I interviewed them for the book. I tried to remember what city I was in, but again when I looked around for a sign or a barista to ask, I could not see clearly. Just isolated bits of wood counter, linoleum floor, fluorescent lamps, and window sunlight with no detail across the road. I started to panic that they would leave before I could interview them. I decided to approach them. But when I stood up, my walk over to them was unsteady because of my limited eyesight. When I got to their table and asked them their thoughts of Hopperesque isolation, the man replied smoothly, "Excuse us, but we're having a private conversation here." I apologized and crawled along the linoleum to my booth. The black metal post on which the table was anchored looked like a life saver on which I could seize. I woke up clinging to the post and squeezing my pillow in the same fashion. I wrote down this dream and now am staring out my hotel window into the featureless New England night.

Andre Gide, who Hopper read and enjoyed, noted in his journals, "If upon opening that door I were suddenly to find myself facing--well the sea…. Why yes I should say; that's odd! Because I know that it ought not to be there; but that is a rationalization. I can never get over a certain amazement that things are as they are, and if they were suddenly different, it seems that they would hardly amaze me any more."

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